Or as Lovecraft would have put it:

Aaaiii! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Iran R’lyeh wagn’nagl fhtagn! Aaaiii!!!!

Fareed Zakaria sums up the silliness of comparing Iran to Nazi Germany:

Can everyone please take a deep breath?
To review a bit of history: in 1938, Adolf Hitler launched what became a world war not merely because he was evil but because he was in complete control of the strongest country on the planet. At the time, Germany had the world’s second largest industrial base and its mightiest army. (The American economy was bigger, but in 1938 its army was smaller than that of Finland.) This is not remotely comparable with the situation today.
Iran does not even rank among the top 20 economies in the world. The Pentagon’s budget this year is more than double Iran’s total gross domestic product ($181 billion, in official exchange-rate terms). America’s annual defense outlay is more than 100 times Iran’s. Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are real and dangerous, but its program is not nearly as advanced as is often implied. Most serious estimates suggest that Iran would need between five and 10 years to achieve even a modest, North Korea-type, nuclear capacity.
Washington has a long habit of painting its enemies 10 feet tall–and crazy. During the cold war, many hawks argued that the Soviet Union could not be deterred because the Kremlin was evil and irrational [Mad Biologist: many of these ‘Plan B’ers‘ later formulated Little Lord Pontchartrain’s foreign policy]. The great debate in the 1970s was between the CIA’s wimpy estimate of Soviet military power and the neoconservatives’ more nightmarish scenario. The reality turned out to be that even the CIA’s lowest estimates of Soviet power were a gross exaggeration. During the 1990s, influential commentators and politicians–most prominently the Cox Commission [Mad Biologist:headed by Republican congressman Christopher Cox]–doubled the estimates of China’s military spending, using largely bogus calculations. And then there was the case of Saddam Hussein’s capabilities. Saddam, we were assured in 2003, had nuclear weapons–and because he was a madman, he would use them.

Iran is something you keep your eye on. You do not make it the warp and woof of U.S. foreign policy.

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14 Responses to IRAN! BOOGA! BOOGA! BOOGA!

  1. Black Cap says:

    Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are real and dangerous, but its program is not nearly as advanced as is often implied.
    This is often asserted, but never backed up with any real evidence. The IAEA just released a report on Aug. 31 that made it clear that it could find ZERO evidence that Iran’s nuclear program is for weapons purposes.
    Even if Iran did have nukes, what would WE have to worry about? We have more nuclear weapons than any country on the face of the planet. Israel? They are an unprecedented military and nuclear power in the region (fourth largest in the world, in fact) and can easily defend themselves against a third-world basket case like Iran. Terrorists? Iran isn’t known to support any terrorist groups that focus attacks on the United States, and sharing technology with them would be utterly suicidal for any nation-state.
    This is all just brouhaha Bush is using to cook up his next war, apparently he thinks he’s entitled to create another catastrophe in the middle east.

  2. bigTom says:

    Fareed is a real voice for sanity. I have a lot of angst about Iran. I think Iran’s president may actually want to provoke a US attack. And it seems to be oh so easy to goad us into ill considered action. Pat Buchannan thinks the big push (for military action) within the Bush administration will start right after the mid term elections, and I’ve learned to take his warnings very seriously. We need to make preventing another mega-blunder a high priority.
    Already the chorus of the neo-con columnists is painting the 1938 scenario.

  3. Black Cap says:

    I think Iran’s president may actually want to provoke a US attack.
    I don’t think it’s that drastic at this point. He may be an anti-Semitic dink-face, but he isn’t that crazy. What he knows is what every foreign policy expert worth the ink on their doctorate knows as well: we can’t sustain military action against Iran. In order to sustain even the initial ground incursion, we would have to resinstitute conscription. With support for the Iraq misadventure hovering in the 30’s and the support for action against Iran hovering in the high teens, conscription would drive support for our action down even lower. Then, assuming the invasion is successful (which is a BIG if) we have to deal with post-war nation-building, which will inevitably be far worse than Iraq as Iran is larger and much more populous.
    Plus there are the other variables. Many analysts have predicted that attacking Iran with the middle east in it’s current state could send oil-prices past the $200 mark. Then there is always the very real prospect of Iranian mullahs calling for Jihad against the current troop deployments among their Shia bretheren. The only loser in this war will be us, if we pursue it.

  4. bigTom says:

    BlackCap, I base my supposition (of deliberate) goading on a couple of things: One the Jihadis clear plan is to provoke just such a blunder, (although we don’t know if he really is a Jahadi -or just likes to talk like one). Two US action is not likely to be an invasion, but (limited) airstrikes on Iran’s Nuclear facilities, something which Iran could survive!
    Three even if he wants to stop short of incurring an actual attack, the possibility of miscalculation is always present.
    If we do commit the blunder, we will be doing exactly as Bin Laden & company desire. Do they really take us to be such great fools?

  5. archgoon says:

    There seems to be a runnaway bold tag.

  6. Janne says:

    Does this help?

  7. SLC says:

    1. The commentators are making the assumption that removing Irans’ nuclear capability will require a ground invasion. A little history is in order. In 1981, Israel removed Iraqs’ nuclear capability without a ground invasion. Now the naysayers will claim that Irans’ nuclear facilities are underground and thus impervious to even MOABs. If this is the case, and it is deemed in the interest of world peace that this capability must be liquidated, then the use of nuclear munitions, up to and including the 15 megaton bombs delivered by B52s must be considered.
    2. The blogmaster claims that a nuclear armed Iran will be deterred by the US and Israeli nuclear arsenals.from launching an attack. There is some precedence for this view; after all, the former Soviet Union and Mainline China were succesfully deterred by the US arsenal. Unfortunately, this assumes that Amadinejad and the mullahs behind him are rational people who will act in their own best interest. Examination of the former gentlemans’ ravings, however, leads a rational personal to conclude that he and the mullahs agree with the Armageddonists in the Christian Right in the US that the end of times is at hand and the battle of Armageddon is nigh. Fortunately, these latter gentlement do not have their finger on the US nuclear button (no, President Bush is not one of them). Amadinejad will have.
    3. The blogmaster claims that the US in the past has painted our adversaries as insane. Amadinejad and the mullahs paint themselves as insane by their own rhetoric.
    4. The statement concerning the supposed might of the German war machine in 1938 is seriously in error. As a matter of fact, in 1938, at the time of the Munich conference, the Geman war machine was substantially inferior to the combined British/French armed forces and in fact, the German General Staff considered Hitlers actions at the time to be dangerously provocative; in fact, as Walter Goerlitz has stated in his history of the German General Staff, the officers therin were planning a military coup in Germany if Chamberlain had stood up to Hitler at Munich and forced him to back down.

  8. Richard says:

    Here is what we have to worry about.
    Iran only needs a few nukes to wipe out Israel.
    Israel will not stand by if that happens.
    Ever heard of the SAMPSON OPTION?

  9. bigTom says:

    SLC has some very good points.
    We know that Iran’s president “talks the talk”, we can’t really know
    if he wants to “walk the walk”. Are his words choosen for calculated political reasons, or does he really think that way. Will he still be in power when Iran acquires significant N-bomb capacity?
    I assume an air campaign wouldn’t wholly eliminate the capability, but would certainly harden the resolve to develope the weapons capability, its long term efficacy is negative.
    The masters of Jihad want us to attack Iran, they hope to take adavntage of the ensuing radicalization of muslims, and the oil shock to take over the middle east, and set up their Caliphate. That’s the outcome we should be trying to avoid.

  10. Banned by Kansas Citizens for Science says:

    Here’s another difference.
    Nazi Germany could never get their heavy water reactor going, although they tried.
    Iran has.

  11. Black Cap says:

    Okay, reminder time:
    1. Even our own CIA says that Iran will not be able to aqcuire a weapons level nuclear capability for at least ten years, and even then it will only be a mild, North Korea type capability. This means they are not, as of now, an imminent threat, especially not to us.
    2. The IAEA has itself said that is could find no evidence that Iran’s nuclear program is for weapons purposes.
    3. We and Israel are perfectly capable of deterring attacks from Iran. Some may say that Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is insane and will attack if he wants to, despite the utterly suicidal nature of such action. I’m not sure if I buy this argument. It’s easy to say crazy things, it’s a whole other ball game to actually invite nuclear obliteration to your entire country.
    4. Attacking Iran would be disasterous whether it takes the form of airstrikes or ground invasion. Even if we do launch relatively “safe” attacks from the air, the Iranian Shia mullahs could call for jihad against American soldiers in Iraq (as much of Iraq’s majority Shia population is Iran-loyal), and Iran could disrupt the entire worlds’ oil supply in retaliation.
    Judging by this, war with Iran in any form would be at this point both disasterous and unnecessary.

  12. SLC says:

    The problem is that Amadinejad might not launch an attack from Iran. He might turn a nuclear munition over to Hizbollah to launch a suicide attack, especially if he thinks that Israels’ Arrow anti-missile system might be effective against a single missle. The bottom line here is that Iran, under the present whackjobs running the country, obtaining nuclear weapons would be like handing gasoline and matches to a pyromaniac.

  13. llewelly says:

    There’s a close bold tag missing.

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    15 penis enlargement devices, 10 penis enlargement patches.

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